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The Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch) is a yearly publication made by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), and is meant to monitor the status of the information society from the perspective of the civil society. During the session, Ms Maya Romano (Content production and curation lead, Association for Progressive Communications (APC)) presented the 2019 GISWatch report Artificial Intelligence: Human rights, social practice and development. The focus of the 2019 report is on the widespread applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and its implications on human rights, social justice, and development implications when these are used for health, education, and social services purposes. As Romano stressed, the goal was to include the least represented voices from, but not limited to, the Global South on AI topics and supported by Article 19.
The report is featured by thematic contributions and country reports which were very briefly highlighted by their respective authors.
The thematic reports underlined the need to reinvent existing approaches to data governance with new models, for instance, exploring the notion of ‘data trust’ as a possible way of increasing agency for people, and filling the gap on current data protection mechanisms. Chapters in the report underlined the potentials and challenges of AI for sustainable human development, as well as highlighting how the negative implications of ‘datafication’ and the strengthening of public-private partnerships-led power relations. Additional contributions in the report addressed the missing discussions on AI, especially with regard to the current implementation of AI that fosters its misuses on predictive policing and mass surveillance. Moreover, the currently missing focus on the political economy of data ownership, control, and the injustice of data extractivist with its relative implications on the development of the Global South were also mentioned. Further contributions also stressed the importance of having a gender lens in place when addressing the impact of AI, and proposed a transgender and feminist perspective as a possible framework to analyse AI.
The session also mentioned national- and regional-based contributions to the report which gave a global perspective featuring, among others, the study cases of Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Italy, India, the Republic of Korea, and Turkey.
By Stefania Grottola